If you live in the city, it’s almost a certainty that your property can get high-speed Internet access from at least one company. But for rural America, it’s a different story, with nearly 4-in-10 people lacking access to fixed-line broadband service.
This is according to FCC Chair Tom Wheeler, who will issue his latest annual Broadband Progress Report later this month.
In a fact sheet [PDF] released in advance of that report, Wheeler notes that, as of 2014, 39% of the U.S. rural population didn’t even have the option of calling up a cable or phone company to provide their homes with broadband service. While that’s an improvement over previous years — it was up at 55% in 2012 — the urban/rural gap still represents a very wide and deep digital canyon.
Only 4% of Americans in densely populated urban areas lack access to broadband (that doesn’t mean that 96% of people have it; just that they could purchase it if they chose to), while the nationwide average shows that 90% of Americans can get acceptable landline Internet service.